Year Published: 1977
A Blessing or A Curse?
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX286
An article discussing consumer credit and how it can be viewed as both a way to promote economic growth and prey on the working class.
Abstract: This newsletter looks at the reasons why people experience debt problems. some reasons given are that there is an excessive promotion of credit, there is a concentration of purchasing power in the hands of a few, and competition and the income gap create unrealistic desires to acquire luxuries. In opposition, another opinion argues that credit is an essential element for the movement of goods, the creation of jobs and increased productivity for a better standard of living. Critics of credit see borrowers as victims of a system that encourages high pressure and often misleading advertising. They argue that the debt is growing faster than the economy. Between June 1975 and May 1976 consumer credit in Canada rose 60%. The Gross National Product in the same period rose 10-12%. In response to whether essential goods such as housing could be distributed without debt, the same critics suggest that a public credit granting system should provide interest-free loans. This would require a planned economy which would involve people in the process. New bankruptcy legislation is discussed and there is a presentation by Otto Lang, Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, which outlines legislation to protect consumers.